Maximum security female prisoners will be moving into Alouette Correctional Centre for Women within two weeks after a $43 million upgrade to the prison.
One hundred and three maximum security cells have been added to the womenÕs prison, which previously just had medium and open security areas.
On Tuesday morning, Solicitor General Shirley Bond joined Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton, the prisonÕs warden Dawn Kelly, and the director of BC Prisons Pete Coulson in officially opening the new building.
While cells are fairly standard, they also include some details to help women, for example, three-step ladders for higher bunks.
The prison also includes a 20-women tactical team specifically trained to deal with acute situations.
Programs at the womenÕs prison include emotions management, relationship skills, and substance abuse programs.
ÒWe want it to be a place of hope and an opportunity for change,Ó Bond said, adding that one goal is to reduce recidivism.
Women who are incarcerated tend to be in worse physical shape, and weaker than their male counterparts, said Kelly, the warden at the prison. They are often undernourished and have significant addiction issues.
When the new maximum security building opens, women will be transferred from the Surrey pretrial centre.